Based on the video game franchise of the same name, Monster Hunter is the latest project from Resident Evil writer-director Paul W.S. Anderson, who is once again teaming up with producer Jeremy Bolt and actress Mila Jovovich to bring another successful video game franchise to the big screen.
Monster Hunter seems like a natural fit for the team of Jovovich, Anderson, and Bolt, who have managed to create the most successful series of video game movies ever made with Resident Evil.
Starting back in 2002, the six-film collection of the Resident Evil video game-to-movie franchise has banked over $1.2 billion worldwide with the final movie, Resident Evil: The Final Chapter, grossing over $312 million. The movies starred Jovovich as Alice, a character based on the games protagonists, but created for the big screen.
In Monster Hunter, Jovovich once again takes a leading role. She is joined by Tony Jaa (xXx: Return of Xander Cage), Ron Perlman (Hell Boy), Diego Boneta (Before I Fall), and Meagan Good (Code Black). So far, however, the reception has not been as positive as expected. The main reason for this is that the movie appears to bear little resemblance to the video game series.
The Monster Hunter franchise dates back to 2004, and is a series of fantasy themed action role-playing games, which are especially popular in Japan. There are currently five main games, with the latest, Monster Hunter: World, having been released in January 2018. Cumulative sales for the series have exceed 50 million units worldwide.
In the games, players take on the role of a hunter, defeating and trapping a variety of monsters who inhabit a dark side of our world. Completing quests, gathering resources and defeating monsters all gain players the ability to craft improved weapons and armor so they can hunt down bigger targets.
In contrast, the official synopsis for the movie says, “Behind our world, there is another — a world of dangerous and powerful monsters that rule their domain with deadly ferocity. When Lt. Artemis (Jovovich) and her loyal soldiers are transported from our world to the new world, the unflappable lieutenant receives the shock of her life. In her desperate battle for survival against enormous enemies with incredible powers and unstoppable, terrifying attacks, Artemis will team up with a mysterious man (Tony Jaa) who has found a way to fight back.”
Whether the movie can prove its critics wrong remains to be seen, but one thing's for sure, it'll be a while before we find out.
Monster Hunter is set to release on Labor Day weekend, September 4, 2020.